There’s no need to deny it: this year has been tough. It’s proved to all of us that even when we feel that things can’t seem to get any worse, life throws a new obstacle our way. Hours blurred into days that blurred into a series of months and, yet, the losses of this year made us all feel as if time stood still with no hope of moving past it all.
Typically, I make yearly resolutions on my birthday. But this past September, it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t in a good place to map out goals and milestones I’d strive to achieve in the proceeding twelve months. But now that 2021 is just within fingertip’s reach, I’ve decided it still doesn’t feel right. Sure, I could talk about how much more productive I hope to be and how I’ll travel more on my own and try new things and think more positively and eat healthier and work out more often. But the truth is that I’m not sure I believe in myself enough right now to set concrete goals. It feels as if I’m setting myself up for failure.
For years, I’d put myself on a pedestal. I set high expectations. I held myself to rigorous standards that some may see as absolutely barbaric. But this year taught me just how dangerous it is to do that. Because, at the end of the day, I’m human. I make mistakes. I have days where I’m not able to be as productive as I’d like — hell, some days I could barely get off of the sofa because there was nothing motivating me to do so. And I blamed myself. I loathed my inability to be strong. To be firm. To meet the expectation I’d set for myself.
But the truth is, my entire world flipped on its axis this year. As did many others. I’ve lost a lot. I’ve cried a lot (something I used to hate doing because I mistook it as a sign of weakness). I’ve made mistakes I never knew I was capable of making. I didn’t have a plan for the first time in my life – and that terrified me.
So going into 2021, I only have one resolution: to love myself the way I know I deserve to. To realize that, at the end of the day, I am doing the best I can. I’ve made it this far and have endured some brutal days where I thought I couldn’t make it. I’m strong and kind and caring and I intend to carry those qualities forward, knowing they make up my core values. I will do everything in my power to recognize that it’s okay to still love yourself and speak kindly to yourself in the way you’d support a friend in need, no matter how tough life can get.
Because at the end of the day, the person you’re stuck with the longest is yourself. And if you can’t love and forgive and be kind to yourself, then how could you possibly intend for others to do that for you?
Have a safe and happy new year to all my readers. I’m sorry, again, for the lack of posts this year. But as I’ve mentioned, it’s been a rough one. And that’s okay. But I think what we all need right now is just a dose of hope.